Growing Your Hive

Growing Your Hive

Once you have installed your bees in their Deep Brood Combo Box, they will start building a colony. Your job is simple. Give them a comfortable, protective home and give them some space. While they’re getting settled, you don’t want to check or feed them more than once a week. When you do inspect the hive and refill their feeder with feed, be certain to use smoke to keep the bees calm and docile.

Within two months, your colony will need room to expand. When you see half an inch of consistent wax built out across your combs and this first box is 85% full on the majority of frames, it’s time to expand.

Add an additional Deep Brood Combo Box on top of the first at this point. This box will contain the honey stores the colony will need to make it through the winter. Remember to move the In-Hive Feeder to the upper deep box to draw the bees up.

When you notice white wax cappings on 9 of the 10 honeycombs in the top deep brood box (typically after a week), add a Queen Excluder above the Deep Brood Box and beneath the Medium Honey Super Box. Waiting the additional week to add the queen excluder will allow the bees to transition to the 3rd box.

These Medium Honey Super Boxes will hold your honey harvest. A healthy hive will start to fill this honey super in as little as two weeks! If you prefer to harvest more honey, continue adding additional Medium Honey Super Boxes when they are 85% of honeycomb. Continue adding boxes until you are ready to extract.

If you see built-out frames with white cappings when checking the honeycombs, this is a good indicator that it is time to extract the honey or add a new Honey Super to promote additional production. You can add Supers throughout the season.

In colder climates you will want to extract before the daytime temperatures drop below 80°F.

Throughout the winter months, the bees will live and feed off the honey in the two Deep Combo Boxes.

An important thing to remember is no two hives are the same; each hive will grow individually.

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